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The Chess Variant Pages

Culverin Chess

This page contains one or more presets for playing a game online with Game Courier, an online server for playing Chess variants by correspondence.

Culverin Chess follows the rules of orthodox chess. In the reserve is placed one or two Culverin cannons per side. Players may either move a piece or pawn, or drop the extra piece from the reserve. Pieces may only be dropped on the first rank, on an empty square behind a friendly pawn. The friendly pawn is immediately relocated one square ahead, to a position which must be empty. If these conditions aren't satisfied then the piece cannot be dropped.

Should a player refrain from inserting the Culverin at these occasions, then he has forfeited his chance of introducing it. The alternative positions where the piece can be dropped will become fewer and fewer, a fact that will enforce piece drop. Note that pieces and pawns are allowed to move before the extra piece has been dropped. You are allowed to make a pawn-relocation if in check, if the pawn-relocation covers the check.

The Culverin can be dropped on g1 when the pawn moves
one square simultaneously. But it cannot be inserted on b1 or
c1. On b1 the pawn is blocked and there is no pawn in front of c1.

The Culverin

The Culverin can step one square in any direction like a king, provided that the square is empty. It can capture long-distance by leaping over any piece in any direction. If the nearest piece after the leap is an enemy piece, then it can be captured. Enemy pawns, however, can restrict its movement. The Culverin can only reach the square immediately behind the enemy pawn, regardless of direction. By example, if the black king is checked on the g-file, it can defend itself by moving the pawn forward.

While its tactical capacity is truncated the Culverin can harmonize with the positional qualities of the game. Positioned two or more steps behind a friendly pawn, it can threaten an enemy Culverin, which cannot threaten back. This is an important positional aspect. The Culverin can take active part early in the game, so one ought to introduce it early. It can threaten an enemy rook on an half-open file. Its value is 3, the same as a bishop or knight (estimate).

culverin : a long cannon (as an 18-pounder) of the 16th and 17th centuries (Webster's Dictionary).

In the following preset moves are validated and automated, including Culverin moves, castling and 'en passant', but check, etc., are not parsed. Pieces can be moved by pointing and clicking. When promoting a pawn, it will automatically turn into a Queen. Should you prefer another piece then you must type the promotion move manually (e.g., add N a8; capture a7). Use small piece-letters for black. E-mails to your opponent are generated, but you can play online by intermittently pressing the browser's update button.

Culverin Chess

(You can also download a Zillions implementation here.)

See also my other Game Courier presets.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By M Winther.
Web page created: 2009-06-24. Web page last updated: 2009-06-24